By| Alexis Grant
Inside the Pink Lash Lounge, a client is laid back on an adjustable spa table that is lined with wax paper and adorned with pastel colored fur blankets and pillows. The wax paper? For sanitation. The fur? To aid in relaxation. Just over her head sits Domonique White, certified lash technician.
Going from an undercover beauty secret that high-end celebrities like Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian kept, to a must-have for many everyday women, mink eyelash extensions are the latest craze in beauty. Now, after doing them for three years, White knows the technique like the back of her hand.
At four in the afternoon White is diligently working on her final client of the day. The same effort that was put into the first person to lay on the bed this morning is clearly being bestowed upon the last. This is intentional.
“It’s a process that can take up to two hours so It’s important to me that my clients are relaxed and comfortable,” White explained.
“It’s tedious like I’m performing surgery, but I want them to feel like they’re at home in bed.”
The desire to achieve that feeling was clear, as the scent of warm linen filled the room fueled by a candle. A bottle of red wine and decorative glasses lined the wall.
Kirk Franklin’s radio is playing via Pandora through the speaker that is connected to White’s iPhone. The sounds of “Now Behold the Lamb” are echoing through the room and bouncing from the pink walls. There’s a mural at their center that features the company’s logo. Across the bottom of the painting the words Lacy Lash can be read.
These are the words that turned this Rattler into a self made boss, after ushering the fairly new beauty trend into Tallahassee.
“When I started it was probably just myself and one other girl,” White explained. “Now, there’s at least 10 girls doing them.”
The details of the Lash Lounge made it evident that White puts a lot into her business. She also gets a lot of it. Mink eyelash extensions have become a big business with a high revenue if marketed right.
“I’m making more than a teacher’s salary doing these lashes,” White explained of her income.
“I’m able to sustain my lifestyle with this craft and I love it.”
So just how much do these lash extensions cost? At Lacy Lash each appointment can run you anywhere from $45 to $125, depending on the type of style you get. These prices can and do go up depending on location.
“I initially learned to apply mink lashes in Miami where I’m from. It’s big down there and it even costs more,” White explained. “A full set will automatically run you at least $120.”
The mink lashes are applied to each of the client’s natural eyelash, creating anywhere from a natural to over-dramatic look. Each style can last up to three weeks and after that a fil-in can be rendered.
After learning the trade from a Miami technician, White not only brought her new found talent back to Leon County, but also decided to spread her wealth. White now teaches one-on-one courses for those who want to learn and become certified in the world of mink lashes.
These training sessions add another very lucrative layer to mink lashing. Each session on average will cost an aspiring lash technician about $500.
“It seems expensive but once you learn the correct way to do them, its an investment that you’ll see back in one day,” White explained.
For Lacy Lash a custom training kit comes with the works. Individual mink lashes, adhesive, cleaner, a glue ring, a nano mister, and many other products are all included inside of the boxed kit that each trainee receives.
Today Kirk Franklin’s radio is playing via Pandora through the speaker that is connected to White’s iPhone. The sounds of “Now Behold the Lamb” are echoing through the room and bouncing from the pink walls. There’s a mural at their center that features the company’s logo. Across the bottom of the painting the words Lacy Lash can be read.
These are the words that changed this Rattler’s life.
While attending FAMU, seeking a degree in health administration, White decided to launch Lacey Lash eyelash extensions. A service company that would provide individual mink eyelash extensions. While she had big aspirations for her upcoming business, the task of actually bringing Lacey Lash into fruition wouldn’t be easy, nor would it be cheap.
White soon began to juggle the roles of owning a business and seeking a degree simultaneously. Although it was a difficult task, it wasn’t an unfamiliar one for a Rattler.
It’s no secret that FAMU produces students who are multi faceted. It isn’t uncommon for students to take on positions outside of their traditional academic roles. There is a plethora of student-governors, student-athletes, student-journalists, and even student-employees of the University. At this point, it’s basically embedded in the culture of the Hill to engage in diversity in craft.
For School of Business student Maya Henry, it’s something she noticed about FAMU long before she reached the State Capitol.
As the 19 year-old laid back with her eyes taped shut, she recalled her initial vision of FAMU students, like her now lash technician.
“I remember being on social media and seeing so many students at FAMU who also held lead positions in different organizations or did radio shows, and were on TV,” Henry recalled.
But for future Rattler’s like Henry, it was the students who also ran their own businesses, like White, who really stuck out.
“I just remember scrolling through Instagram and seeing so many people who attended FAMU who were getting LLC’s before even getting a degree,” Henry said.
LLC’s before degree’s. While it sounds like a slogan for some sort of business vying campaign, it’s true. FAMU actually has a trend of students with businesses.
White had perfected the trend. After graduating and multiple moves she can now say that she’s a full time employee under her own supervision. Now, responsible for at least six other mink eye lash technicians in Tallahassee, White has set her name in stone as a pioneer for this fast spreading beauty trend.